Ryan Gannon

rgannon1@bryant.edu

Hi, I'm Ryan Gannon and I'm a sophomore from Litchfield, Connecticut. I'm a Global Supply Chain Management major and an Environmental Science Minor. I also love to run and am a member of the Cross Country and Track & Field teams here at Bryant. Thanks for reading!


Big Accolades for a not so small school

November 25th, 2014

When I tell people I go to Bryant University, I'm used to the response being "What school?" or "Where is that again?" or something else along those lines. For a school as small as Bryant, with a campus that is off the beaten path, this is to be expected.

 But the word about Bryant is getting out. As the years go by, Bryant has been racking up more and more accolades from highly regarded national reviews and newspapers. The university's top notch business education opportunities and career placement services are drawing attention from such publications as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report, to name a few.

Often cited is the very small student body, which means you'll never find yourself as just a number in a lecture hall. The classes are small and students form relationships with their professors.

Bryant has been praised primarily for its strength in accounting, marketing, International Business and supply chain management programs. In addition, the College of Arts and Sciences boasts highly recognized programs in Actuarial Mathematics, Economics, Biology and Communication to name a few. The undergraduate requirement that students integrate their major with a minor of a different field (i.e. a business major with a liberal arts minor) has also been recognized for promoting a balanced and well-rounded education.

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During this excited period of growth for the Bulldogs, you can expect a degree from Bryant University to be invaluable years after graduating.

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

The Chace Wellness Center

November 16th, 2014

Many incoming college students dread the notorious "Freshman Fifteen." And with a buffet-style cafeteria where you have access to as much food as you can eat, it's easy to get carried away. It's important, however, to make time in your schedule for the gym - not only to stay fit and healthy, but also because exercise is important to relieve stress in college.

Luckily, Bryant has a small campus, so it's easy to get to the gym (and hard to make excuses). Our facility is the Chace Wellness Center, which contains a pool and several squash courts. There is also an athletic center which has three basketball courts and is most often used for intramural competitions. The center offers another room which is used for fitness classes - spinning, yoga, and martial arts to name a few.

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Finally there is the gym itself, which always has enough equipment for everyone to use. And the machines cover every person's routine. Whether you use the treadmill or stationary bike, lift free weights or use machines, or just need a physio ball to do core work, you'll always have what you need.

What I like most about the gym is the atmosphere. It's not extremely intense, which is nice for someone who doesn't exactly focus on maxing out the deadlift and bench press. It's a laid back atmosphere, but everyone minds their own business, so you can focus on your workout and go your own pace.

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

NEC XC Championships

November 2nd, 2014

This past Saturday, the Bryant Men's and Women's Cross Country teams competed in the Northeast Conference Championships.

We made the trip over to Central Connecticut State University on Friday, where we attended a banquet dinner with all the other conference teams on the host university's campus. After a hearty meal and a short ceremony recognizing the conference's seniors and high-achieving scholar athletes, we headed back to the hotel to rest up for our biggest race of the year.

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The races were held at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, on the edge of CCSU's campus. We were lucky enough to dodge morning rain and ended up with pretty great cross country conditions.  Both the men's and women's teams put up awesome times, with a lot of personal bests - even on a course with a brutal hill in the middle of the course.

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 As teams, the women finished second and the men finished third, missing second by a small margin of only seven points. On the whole, this was the best finish in program history, and we've been improving consistently over the past years. All Bryant sports have been performing better and better since joining Division I several years ago. It's an amazing thing to be a part of, and a part of Bryant life that all students take pride in.

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Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Parents & Family Weekend: 2014

October 26th, 2014

Every fall, the university dedicates one weekend to the parents and families of Bryant's students. Events are held on campus from Friday afternoon through Sunday, and the bulk of the festivities take place on Saturday.

For most freshmen, college is their first experience with spending a long time away from home and their families. This weekend gives everyone a chance to relax, unwind, and catch up with loved ones that they may not have seen since August or early September.

The events go on all weekend, which gives families the opportunity to pick and choose what they want to attend and spend the rest of their time as they please. Some of the events include the President's and Dean's List Receptions and a State of the University address presented by our school's President, Ronald Machtley. This year also featured a Caribbean themed lunch and a performance of The Importance of Being Earnest put on by our drama club, the Bryant Players. And once again the Bulldogs football team pulled out a home victory against conference rivals Robert Morris.

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Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Study Abroad Decision!

October 19th, 2014

A few posts ago, I wrote about the process of applying to study abroad. Since then, I have submitted my application and will officially be spending this upcoming spring semester in Berlin, Germany!

The study abroad office has worked incredibly well to make the process go smoothly and sort everything out with CIEE, the program provider. At this stage I am getting classes approved so that I can get credit for Bryant classes while abroad (this is actually much easier than I anticipated).

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The idea of studying abroad is very exciting - it's hard to believe that soon I'll be spending four months in a foreign country. I know it will be a huge challenge; navigating public transportation, learning the language, traveling on my own, and even living in an apartment and cooking for myself will be totally new experiences for me. But with all those challenges I know that I will learn and grow quite a bit, and that's really why I'm going.

 Thanks for reading,

Ryan

The Supply Chain Management Major

October 14th, 2014

Bryant University is well-known for its excellence in business education. To most, that means concentrating in accounting, management, finance, marketing or the like. But my guess is that very few people, if any, think of Bryant's concentration in Global Supply Chain Management. In fact, many people aren't even aware that it's a field of study.

I recently declared my major in Supply Chain management. When people ask me what I study and I tell them that, I get one of two reactions. Many people look at me with a confused expression and ask, "What is that?" or "That's really a major?" The rest are people are those who are aware of the growing supply chain management field, and they light up and begin raving about what a great choice I've made.

Essentially, a supply chain starts when raw materials are harvested from the earth. It then includes all the activities of production, operations, transportation,  selling, etc. until the finished good is in the consumer's hand. To put it simply, a supply chain manager is in charge of making sure that all of these activities run smoothly and efficiently. As the Bryant academics site explains it:

"You will learn to integrate the key functions of marketing, logistics, operations management, computer information systems, accounting, and finance. You will span traditional business functionality and explore relationships that create value for multiple stakeholders across functions, organizations, and nations" (http://www.bryant.edu/academics/undergraduate/courses-of-study/global-supply-chain-management.htm).

In today's economy, the demand for qualified supply chain managers is growing rapidly. At the same time, however, a degree in supply chain management is not entirely common yet, so those who have one are very appealing to potential employers. I may be biased, so you can also take it from the Wall Street Journal, which mentions Bryant specifically for its up-and-coming supply chain program in this article:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324423904578523591792789054

I've also joined the university's club, the Society for Global Supply Chain Management, which does an incredible job of bringing in guest speakers, organizing site visits and educating its members on their options with the major. I spoke with a few of the junior and senior members of the club about their experiences. All of them had held internship positions with large, exciting companies. And, to quote one senior, "companies are literally throwing jobs at us." Sounds good to me.

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Bryant@Night: DODGEBALL

October 5th, 2014

Bryant@Night is one of the many great organizations on campus that puts on popular programs and events for students. These events are typically held on Friday and Saturday nights. They often offer something fun to do for those looking for something fun to do on campus: past examples have included pumpkin carving, and a workshop to design lights for your dorm room. In other cases, the events get a little intense. Students bring their A-game for things like FIFA and Halo tournaments, Laser Tag and, in the case of this past Friday, dodgeball.

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It's clear that the word about dodgeball has gotten out around campus. I went last year and had fun with several other teams, but this year was the real deal. About 10 teams of students in groups of 5 to 7 came pumped up and ready to play. Win or lose, everyone gets into it and has an awesome time. The tournament is also great for bringing people together and giving you the chance to meet other students that you might not meet otherwise. What better way to make friends than to throw balls at them in a competitive game of dodgeball?

To give you a better idea of what Bryant@Night provides, here is a link to their Twitter page: https://twitter.com/bryantatnight

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Studying Abroad: Taking the First Step

September 28th, 2014

Most college students, at some point in their academic careers, say that they would like to spend a semester studying in another country. Unfortunately, it is an adventure that most never end up taking.

I am personally in the process of deciding where I want to spend my own semester abroad, but I will discuss that more in a later post. I will say that Bryant's study abroad office has been absolutely invaluable in facilitating every step in the process thus far.

I've spoken with several students who have studied abroad, all of whom have been more than happy to share their experiences with me. I also have yet to hear one negative sentiment about a semester abroad.

The advisors have also been indispensable at every corner. The study abroad specific advisors are incredibly knowledgeable about all the programs, and have actually traveled to many of the locations themselves and can give first-hand experience to help you choose a country.

Bryant is partnered with nine program providers, each of which offer unique opportunities all over the world. You could choose one of the more traditional options and study in a beautiful city in Spain or Italy. You could hone your Spanish skills while living with a host family in a South America. You could step way outside your comfort zone and learn in an Asian or African country, or you could go to one of the many other locations all over Europe. In all, locations are offered in over 50 countries, so you won't be short on options.

Personally, I was somewhat torn while making the decision to go abroad. I was reluctant partly because I love Bryant and I want to take advantage of every semester I have here. On the other hand, however, there may never be another chance to spend four months living in another country, and the experience will be something that can't be matched otherwise. So where ever you end up, I urge you to consider taking the opportunity to study abroad.

The link below provides more information on Bryant University's study abroad program.

http://www.bryant.edu/academics/undergraduate/study-abroad/

Thanks for reading,

Ryan

Going Off Campus: Providence

September 21st, 2014

I can honestly say that the Bryant campus feels like home to me. It offers everything I could ask for: a tight-knit community with plenty of friendly faces, a great environment to learn and expand in, as well as plenty to do so I'm never bored. With that said, it never hurts to have a change of scenery available. Whether you need a break from studying on campus, or just want a meal from somewhere other than the dining hall, Providence is always a great (and close) destination.

Getting there is never a problem, either. Even freshmen are allowed to have cars on campus,  so if you don't have your own, I guarantee one of your friends will. If not, you can always take the RIPTA. The RIPTA is Rhode Island's public transportation system, which sends a bus right from campus to the heart of downtown Providence about every 45 minutes. This is a perfectly viable alternative to taking a car and, in my opinion, is even better: you don't have to worry about parking, and as a student you ride for free.

Providence is home to several colleges, included among them Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. As a result the city exudes a youthful and artistic vibe where visiting students fit right in. The huge Providence Place Mall is a favorite destination of Bryant students, as well as Thayer Street, a road lined with restaurants and coffee shops that's always bustling with a young crowd.

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I took this picture during my last trip to Providence. The mural was designed by a famous artist and entrepreneur, who actually got his start as a street artist in Providence. Pieces of art like these can be seen everywhere and add to the characteristic charm of the city.

 Thanks for reading,

 Ryan

Homecoming Pep Rally

September 15th, 2014

This past weekend marked Bryant University's Homecoming. During these days, many alumni from past graduating classes return to campus to reunite with former classmates and take in the changes the campus has seen over the years.

The main event of Homecoming weekend is always Saturday's football game. The night before the game, however, all of the student-athletes and much of the student body gather by the pond in the center of campus for the pep rally. At this year's rally, we heard from each of the fall sports teams' captains about their upcoming seasons,  followed by performances from Bryant's cheerleaders and dance team.

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Per school tradition, the pep rally was finished off with a massive bonfire in the middle of the pond, lit by our own President Machtley, and an incredible display of fireworks going off above the Unistructure.

The pep rally is a great way to get pumped for the fall sports season and boost Bulldog pride. The next day Bryant football took down UMaine in an exciting 13-10 game.

 Thanks for reading,

 Ryan